"What Cheema said was totally misunderstood by some people. Actually, he wanted to say that migration is also taking place from border areas of Uttarakhand," said leader of the opposition Ajay Bhatt.
Despite the clarification from BJP, the UKD continued to hold protests in Dehra Dun and other areas demanding the resignation of Cheema.
UKD, which has only one MLA in the 70-member house, has asked Cheema to leave Uttarakhand.
"If Cheema is not feeling good in Uttarakhand, he should go to Punjab," said Trivednra Singh Panwar, president of the UKD, which is credited for spearheading the statehood agitation during the 1990s.
Panwar also accused Cheema of creating wedge between the hills and the plains by making "irresponsible" statements.
Cheema, who is a third time MLA from Kashipur, had reportedly said migration from hills has increased the pressure on resources, following which, people of terai and plain regions were also being forced to move out to other areas.
The statement by Cheema had infuriated workers of UKD who this week allegedly broke the glass of main door of his house at Race Course locality here. However, Cheema and his family members were not in the house at the time of incident.
Dehra Dun: BJP on Sunday came out in defence of its legislator Habhajan Singh Cheema, who is at the centre of a controversy over his alleged "anti-hills" remark, saying his statement has been misinterpreted.
First Published: Sunday, July 15, 2012, 22:35